Oregon spotted frog released into the wild to halt population crash
In an effort to re-establish their populations in Washington State, approximately 500 Oregon spotted frogs were released into the wild after spending the first seven months of their lives in a captive rearing program.
Endangered Oregon spotted frogs returned to native habitat: here.
The Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa) had an historic range from south-western British Columbia to northern California: here.
The Oregon spotted frog has lost 95% of its habitat. Volunteers count egg masses in March at WA’s Conboy Lake Refuge: here.
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba – A U.S. military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay has quit because his office suppressed evidence that could clear a young Afghan detainee of war crimes charges, defense lawyers said Wednesday.
The prosecutor, Army Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, is now supporting a defense bid to dismiss war crimes charges against Mohammed Jawad because of the alleged misconduct, according to Michael Berrigan, the deputy chief defense counsel for the Guantanamo tribunals. …
Jawad, who was captured in Afghanistan when he was 16 or 17, is facing trial for allegedly throwing a grenade that injured two American soldiers and their Afghan interpreter in December 2002. He faces a maximum life sentence.
In a declaration submitted to the defense, Vandeveld said prosecutors knew Jawad may have been drugged before the attack and that the Afghan Interior Ministry said two other men had confessed to the same crime, Berrigan said. Pentagon officials refused to provide a copy of the declaration.
Vandeveld declined to comment through a tribunal spokeswoman.
«He decided he could no longer ethically serve either as a prosecutor in this case or for the Office of Military Commissions,» said Jawad’s Pentagon-appointed attorney, Air Force Maj. David Frakt. He said Vandeveld had endorsed settling the case and releasing Jawad after a short while.
Frakt said he has asked for Vandeveld to testify at Jawad’s pretrial hearing Thursday but the former prosecutor was denied authorization to fly to the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.
Jawad is one of about 20 detainees facing charges in the Pentagon’s specially designed system for prosecuting alleged terrorists. Military prosecutors say they plan trials for about 80 of the 255 men held here on suspicion of links to al-Qaida or the Taliban.
The Judge and the General tells the story of recent efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of horrific acts of political repression committed three decades ago under Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet. In their documentary, co-directors Elizabeth Farnsworth, a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) correspondent, and Patricio Lanfranco weave together historical film footage and poignant and informative interviews with individuals victimized by the regime and those who have fought for justice for the victims.
Both filmmakers were in Chile in the early 1970s. The military coup against democratically elected president Salvador Allende occurred on September 11, 1973, and began with the shelling of the presidential palace in Santiago by the military plotters. Allende, the long-time leader of the Socialist Party, was killed.
The film has been shown at various film festivals in the US and in Latin America and aired on PBS’s “POV” in August.
During the 1970s and early 1980s, thousands of individuals were killed or disappeared in an unprecedented campaign of criminal terror by the Chilean army and police. The country’s intelligence service, DINA, formed under the dictatorship with the assistance of the American CIA, directed a massive campaign of arrest, torture and murder against opponents of the military regime.
Under Operation Condor or Plan Condor, military leaders from several Latin American countries, including Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, coordinated arrests and assassinations of their citizens. When the persecuted fled Latin America, operations were planned and carried out in European cities and in the US.
The Dictator’s Shadow: Life Under Pinochet, by Heraldo Munoz: here.
For the first time ever, the US military is deploying an active duty regular Army combat unit for full-time use inside the United States to deal with emergencies, including potential civil unrest.
Beginning on October 1, the First Brigade Combat Team of the Third Division will be placed under the command of US Army North, the Army’s component of the Pentagon’s Northern Command (NorthCom), which was created in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with the stated mission of defending the US “homeland” and aiding federal, state and local authorities.
The unit—known as the “Raiders”—is among the Army’s most “blooded.” It has spent nearly three out of the last five years deployed in Iraq, leading the assault on Baghdad in 2003 and carrying out house-to-house combat in the suppression of resistance in the city of Ramadi. It was the first brigade combat team to be sent to Iraq three times.
While active-duty units previously have been used in temporary assignments, such as the combat-equipped troops deployed in New Orleans, which was effectively placed under martial law in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, this marks the first time that an Army combat unit has been given a dedicated assignment in which US soil constitutes its “battle zone.”
The Pentagon’s official pronouncements have stressed the role of specialized units in a potential response to terrorist attack within the US. …
However, the mission assigned to the nearly 4,000 troops of the First Brigade Combat Team does not consist merely of rescuing victims of terrorist attacks. An article that appeared earlier this month in the Army Times (“Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1”), a publication that is widely read within the military, paints a different and far more ominous picture.
“They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control,” the paper reports. It quotes the unit’s commander, Col. Robert Cloutier, as saying that the 1st BCT’s soldiers are being trained in the use of “the first ever nonlethal package the Army has fielded.” The weapons, the paper reported, are “designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.” The equipment includes beanbag bullets, shields and batons and equipment for erecting roadblocks.
It appears that as part of the training for deployment within the US, the soldiers have been ordered to test some of this non-lethal equipment on each other.
“I was the first guy in the brigade to get Tasered,” Cloutier told the Army Times. He described the effects of the electroshock weapon as “your worst muscle cramp ever—times 10 throughout your whole body.”
Pentagon to deploy 20,000 troops on domestic “anti-terror” mission: here.
An unarmed 16-year-old boy died April 10 after police fired a Taser on him: here. And here.
The British Columbia Supreme Court has handed down a ruling rejecting the claims of Taser International and vindicating the findings of a provincial public inquiry that tasers can cause serious injury or death: here.
Video footage of a Western Australian prisoner being repeatedly tasered and the death of a Sydney man have highlighted the alarming increase in the use of electric stun guns by Australian police: here.